Friday, July 29, 2016

"Climate Activists Disrupt American Petroleum Institute Event At DNC" -- Traitor @govinslee Headlining Petroleum Event

Philadelphia, PA – Today environmental activists, Indigenous youth, and other concerned citizens disrupted a Politico event sponsored the American Petroleum Institute, the leading American trade group of the fossil fuel industry. The event, “Energy and the Election at the DNC”, featured prominent Democratic lawmakers and energy advisors including, Gov. John Hickenlooper (D-CO), Gov. Jay Inslee (D-WA), Rep. Dave Loebsack (D-IA), Ed Rendell, former PA Gov., Trevor Houser, Hillary For America Energy Policy Advisor, and Heather Zichal, former Obama climate official.

More than a dozen activists were forcibly removed from the event after openly criticizing the fossil fuel industry and entrenched political leaders. Additionally, activists dropped a 400-sq-foot banner from the building across the street, and picketed the entrance to the event as it began.

Activists expressed deep concern that API-sponsored energy events at the DNC are still acceptable platforms for Democrats to attend, despite the oil and gas industry’s long history of climate denial and “dirty energy money” campaign donations. Over the last decade API has directly donated nearly $150,000 to Democrats, and its member corporations have donated many millions more.
Inside the Politico event, advocates demanded the Democratic Party follow through on its climate commitments and take immediate steps to keep fossil fuels in the ground instead of blindly catering to oil and gas industry executives.
Jimmy BettsFrontline Indigenous youth who were present also expressed deep concern that many of the featured speakers have close ties with the fossil fuel industry that is polluting their air, water and threatening their way of life. Said Krystal Two Bulls of the Oglala Lakota/Northern Cheyenne, “The fossil fuel industry and the politicians who cater to it are responsible for devastating Indigenous communities across the country. For too long, our voices have been the target for silencing for the greed, consumption, and power of the colonial settler society. We’ve come to Philadelphia to be silent no more.”

Sheldon Tenorio of Kewa Pueblo added, “The fossil fuel industry isn’t accountable to communities like mine that are exploited for short term profit and left scarred forever. They can’t ignore our voices, even from fancy luncheon events in skyscrapers.”

“The story of the struggle of Colorado, particularly in my home, Weld County – the most fracked county in the nation – is that we have been trampled by the fossil fuel industry. There’s a chokehold on our state, but also a huge effort to take confront it and fight back. The people are ready and we are taking on the good fight. That’s why we’re here,” Mickey San Miguel said.
Quotes from demonstrators:

“How can you commit environmental genocide? Cultural genocide, corporations are raping our mother. How would you feel if someone raped your mother? With the time that I have, with the ears that are tuned in, I’d like to ask you this: What will you celebrate — will you celebrate the continued genocide of our people, of the land, the natural resources, cultures, and our ways of life, or will you celebrate the gifts of our mother, our languages, our land and our clean water? What will you hand down to your children? What are you handing down to their children?” – Sheldon Tenorio of the Kewa Pueblo.

“It’s time for a culture of accountability. Democrats need to go beyond paying lip service to the climate threat while still supporting the policies that exacerbate it. Gov. Hickenlooper actually sued municipalities in Colorado for banning the extreme and environmentally racist practice of fracking.” He added, “fracking is a profound demonstration of oppression, slow violence and genocide. It has to stop and we will hold any politician and their energy advisors accountable for pushing a poisonous practice that is taking lives, breaking sovereign treaties and pillaging freshwater from those who need it the most. The debate is over, natural gas is not a source of clean energy, and when Democrats push fracking, they themselves are behaving like bonafide climate deniers.” – Anthony Rogers-Wright, Policy Director at Environmental Action.

“The science of fracking is very clear: between toxic chemicals used in extremely high quantities along with the chronic failure of fracked infrastructure, which leads to threats of contamination, it’s clear that fracking can’t be made safe. By polluting the Democratic party with their toxic dollars, the gas frackers are purchasing our energy policy and, thereby, sacrificing communities, and endangering the lives of innocent citizens while poisoning our air, water, food, and climate.” – David Braun, co-founder of Americans Against Fracking.

This event is no different than imagining the Democratic Party attending an event on Smoking and Children’s Health sponsored by Big Tobacco companies. Now we better understand why President Obama has leased more than ten million acres of public lands to oil and gas companies and never bothered to analyze the climate impacts. It’s obvious today that people are fed up and demanding our elected officials cut political and fundraising ties with an industry directly responsible for destroying communities and our children’s future.” – Rebecca Sobel, Senior Campaigner at WildEarth Guardians.

In 2016, it is unacceptable for Democrats to be legitimizing a fossil fuel industry-sponsored energy event. Fossil fuels are the energy of the past – politicians must stop taking oil-drenched donations from the industry and must work to keep fossil fuels in the ground. Support for expansion of fracking and natural gas is completely at odds with the climate targets agreed to in Paris, and with a just transition to clean energy.” – Collin Rees, Campaigner at Oil Change USA.

“We cannot answer the climate crisis without ending the power of Big Oil money in our democracy. Polluter cash has no place at the Democratic National Convention.” – Lukas Ross, spokesperson at Friends of the Earth Action.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

"The White People Meter Election Analysis" -- Excellent from @imixwhatilike

Refreshingly Honest Discussion of Where We Are After Bernie -- @TheRealNews (18 min)

Monday, July 25, 2016

Progressives Speak: From Black Lives Matter to Palestinian Rights to Fight for $15

Sunday, July 17, 2016

[What You Allow] "The Poor Man's Famine Is the Rich Man's Feast" -- Mick Blake

Saturday, July 16, 2016

#FreePalestine -- Seattle Is There with You! @VoicesforPal

Sunday, July 10, 2016

"Why Police Violence Will Not End ['Until segregation becomes a distant memory ...]" By Feisal G. Mohamed

originally in HuffingtonPost

Let’s begin with the obvious. There can be no justification for the murder of Philando Castile, Alton Sterling or any other innocent person, and anyone denying that African-Americans suffer disproportionately from police violence is either deluded or disingenuous. Amongst the deluded and disingenuous are those who carry such reactionary banners as “All Lives Matter” or “Blue Lives Matter.” A steady stream of death is not a series of missteps or errors in judgment; it is a willed choice, an approach to policing in action. To acknowledge this is not to tolerate the murder of police officers by sniper fire: protesting the murder of innocents with more murder is never legitimate. Three names of those killed in Dallas have been released as of this writing, and they deserve to be recorded: Michael Krol, Brent Thompson, and Patrick Zamarippa. Outrage about the murder of police officers and outrage about murder committed by police officers are not mutually exclusive: we can, and I think should, feel both.

Why won’t the killing stop? Can’t we just give cops a few sensitivity seminars, teach them a bit of black history, and have the whole thing go away? To say so is to fundamentally mistake the nature of the problem we face. This is not about the personal racial attitudes of police officers. We know, if we’ve been watching, that some of the police officers who kill black boys and men are black themselves. The officers charged in the Freddie Gray case are equally split, three black and three white. While this feels like an exception, it also suggests that the racial attitudes of officers cannot entirely explain police violence.

A more compelling explanation runs much deeper, implicates many more of us, and is centered on two facts. Fact one: we live in a deeply segregated country.Evidence suggests that our cities are more segregated now than they were half a century ago. Fact two: we live in a country where explicit policies of segregation are illegal. So how does our system of segregation perpetuate itself? The ways are legion, but especially relevant to this discussion are interactions with authorities that take place on the margins of the law: all the sub-legal, and extra-legal, and quasi-legal zones in which minorities are harassed to enforce the borders that middle-class Americans have been trained to desire and expect. And these are precisely the zones in which policing happens.

So we come to another point that should be obvious: we cannot reasonably expect police to do the dirty work of twenty-first century segregation without also expecting them to commit routine acts of violence against minorities. While they are certainly culpable for their actions, they are also pawns in a game perpetuated by every middle-class person with a racialized view of what constitutes a “desirable” neighborhood with “good” schools and “safe” streets. These terms thinly veil a dirty social bargain, one where law-abiding working-class minorities must live under a cloud of suspicion. We complain about the militarization of the police, but those who subscribe to these views are the ones who give them their marching orders.

The killing will stop when segregation becomes a distant memory rather than a living fact. That means forcing all levels of government to make integration a serious objective. Government certainly made it an objective get us where we are—suburbanization is a direct result of transportation and lending policy, the building of freeways and extension of tax exemptions for developers—and by any conceivable measure government has an obligation to fix its own mess. This is not social engineering, but social therapy. Government-sponsored programs created our segregation problem; and government-sponsored urban planning can solve it by prioritizing the creation mixed-income neighbourhoods. It is only when the fortress mentality afflicting middle-class America is abandoned that we won’t need trained murderers at the gates. The more that the bonds of community cut across race lines, the less that policing will take the form of racial exclusion.

Though the episodic violence that has taken place since Ferguson has filled time on networks purporting to carry news, the peaceful efforts of Black Lives Matter must not be lost in the noise. Just as Occupy made broad segments of society think about rising inequality, Black Lives Matter has brought together broad segments of urban society, of all races, to demand an end to the violent legacies of white supremacy. One of its virtues is that it is decentered and multi-polar, a tacit recognition that race problems are often local—even hyper-local: micro-segregations taking place between city blocks, creating boundaries known to locals that police are expected to defend. That means we cannot blame the Dallas shooting on a group of leaders: the movement has no chain of command.

No other protest movement in recent memory has achieved so significant an awakening on the question of race. We must keep that in mind, and allow that achievement to take root and flight, in the coming weeks and months, when Dallas will be used as a pretext to discredit Black Lives Matter as a whole. That will happen in unsubtle ways, as when those who were already filled with racial hatred will find a new excuse for their bigotry. But it will also happen in subtle ways, as when people feel a little less ethical pressure to make change happen the next time that a police officer kills a young black man. We must be vigilant against both.

Saturday, July 09, 2016

Serene Williams -- Black Power at Wimbledon